MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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SPECIALISING IN THE UNUSUAL - WHETHER IT BE VILLAGE POSTMARKS, THE UNEXPECTED WITH BASIC STAMPS, UNUSUAL POSTAL HISTORY, OR EXCEPTIONAL QV COVERS



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PSRE from COUVA with REGISTRATION NOT ACTIVATED, Trinidad postal history
1890 use of QV 2d PSRE with added QV 4d grey, pair QV 6d olive-black (SG.110,111) pmk'd COUVA B/NO 6 90 to Bishop Auckland, England arriving A/NO 20 90 being an extremely rare example of quadruple 4d postage but due failure to transit through Port Of Spain (circumstances of interruption not yet established) the 2d registration fee could not be employed resulting in there being no Head Office transit cds, no registration label affixed by Port of Spain, and no hooded REGISTERED LONDON transit cds being all the requirements of secure mail.
Mail left Port of Spain NO 6 1890, arrived Barbados NO 8 1890, arrived Plymouth NO 19 1890 as per RMSP homeward schedule attached.
£350

Manuscript "Nicholls Town Andros", Bahamas postal history
1925 commercial cover to Messrs. W. Barratt & Co. Ltd., Boot Manufacturers, "Footshape" Works, Northampton with KGV 1d pmk'd blue manuscript "20/8/25 Nicholls Town Andros" and further two KGV 1d tied Nassau 25 AU 25 cds, reverse Northampton reg. oval 7 SP 25 arrival.
£350

ST. VINCENT postal history
1886 cover with printed sender's initials flap to S. Chapman, West Hampstead, London with the 4d rate most unusually paid by QV ½d green strip of three, QV 2½d on 1d lake (SG.47,40) tied Kingstown C/MY 6 86 cds, alongside a fine strike of a PML handbook unlisted boxed "TOO LATE" (34 x 8½mm, low cross-bar in "A").
£825

BAHAMAS postal history
1868 cover to Henry Dunn, New York with QV 4d Chalon tied "A05" with fine BAHAMAS OC 17 1868/C dbl-arc on upper flap which can fully display showing NEW YORK OCT 25 arrival with "3" due. Handstruck "CANNOT BE FOUND" and NEW YORK POST OFFICE/OCT 30/ADVERTISED oval with New York NOV 30 return cds on reverse.
£525


MAIL TO THE WRITER OF THE WHITE HORSES OF WILTSHIRE, Canada postal history
1868 cover to The Reverend W. Ch. Plenderleath (1831-1906), Cherhill Rectory, Calne, Wiltshire with QV 12½c tied Quebec oval of bars with cds dated FE 1 68, reverse very fine Chippenham A/FE 21 68 arrival. Accompanied by good condition copy of his illustrated book.
Travelled by Allen Line "S.S. Austria" sailing from Portland FE 9 68 arriving Liverpool FE 20 68.
£225



MAIL TO CRIMEAN WAR GENERAL WHO INVENTED A HEATED CANNONBALL AS A BED-WARMER, Canada postal history
1863 cover to General Higginson, 9 Wilton Crescent, London with QV 12½c tied Montreal duplex dated AP 17 63.
Grenadier Guards General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson was born in Wilton Crescent Belgravia and during the Crimean War improvised a bed-warmer for the freezing nights by heating up a cannonball in the campfire.
£225







THE UNIQUE B.W.I. "DOUBLE COUNTRY" JAMAICA and BAHAMAS SAILOR'S CONCESSIONARY RATE ENTIRE
1835 entire "From Alexander Spain on board His Majestys Brig Wasp" to his sister Charlotte Spain in Southampton countersigned on face by J.N. Syke, Lt. Acting Commanding Officer with "Paid 1" in horizontal oval and matching red ink LIVERPOOL AP 14 1835 arrival backstamp. Written at Port Royal, Jamaica 12th February, travelled with him to Belize, with cross-written finish at Nassau, Bahamas 12th March with "since writing the first part we have been with troops to Honduras in New Spain and thence to this place on the same errand". Opening tear into address panel hardly detracts, some small internal splits but clean with delightful content including mention of fond memories of picking buttercups and daisies on their way to school.
No privilege rate countersigned pre-stamp Sailor's letters are currently recorded from Jamaica (which is quite extraordinary for such a large island) or the Bahamas, and the only two recorded entires as such for the B.W.I. group, are from Antigua (HMS Pique MY 26 1845) with rate paid by attached sewn 1d coin, and 1d paid from Alexander to his sister Charlotte Spain on the Wasp while again at Belize 30 June landed Dartmouth 29 August 1835. The "Wasp" was built during 1811-12 and at this time was on duty on the North America and West Indies station with 85 officers and men, 24 boys, 20 marines. Alexander Spain was a first class boy waiting to be rated. He mentions homecoming in about 20 months - the Wasp arrived Portsmouth 15 April 1837 having left Jamaica 11 February but during a gale on 4 April she lost her foremast and straps plus her bowsprit during a mid-Atlantic collision with the Elizabeth due poor visibility.
£2800

RIVERTON, NEW ZEALAND to INDIA postal history
1866 cover to Grindlay & Co., Calcutta with QV 2d strip of three, 6d pmk'd "6" with RIVERTON MR 16 1866 despatch alongside, reverse Invercargill MR 16 66 and Calcutta AP 28 1866 arrival.
£1625




Bootheel "11" used ST. LUCY, Barbados postal history
1875 local cover to Mrs Boyce, Mrs Hinkson's residence, Middle Street, (Bridgetown) with 1d deep blue (SG.66) tied bootheel "11" backstamped 11/AP 6 75 (M2-O, wording set close to rim) 19mm cds clear of central reverse faults.
Currently only two covers are recorded with bootheel "11", the M2-O (original) 19mm cds replaced by a 21mm M2-R (replacement, wording set further from rim) cds (as illustrated alongside loose QV 1d in the attached scan).
£950

THE SIEGE OF PARIS, TWO MILLION LETTERS CARRIED OUT, NONE TAKEN IN, St. Vincent postal history
1870 cover to the Duc de Polignac, Paris, France but due the siege re-directed to the small hamlet of St. Jean du Cardonnay par Maromme, Seine Inferieure (near Rouen, 87 miles north west of Paris) with QV 4d yellow, 1/- indigo tied vertical "A10" with weak ST. VINCENT A/OC 10 70 despatch and both London Paid 31 OC 70 and Calais 1 NOV 70 transits, reverse with Paris Au Havre and Maromme 17 NOV 70 and Maromme 18 NOV 70 arrivals. During the Franco-Prussian War the French capital was surrounded by the Prussians and the Siege of Paris began SP 17 1870 and lasted until an Armistice was arranged on FE 28 1871. There were over two million mouths to feed in Paris as the number of armed forces and inhabitants had been swelled by an influx of foreigners, refugees and outsiders. French aeronauts quickly suggested to the postal authorities that balloons should be used to maintain communication with the provisonal government in Tours and beyond. 67 balloons took off from Paris during the siege of which 58 landed safely, more than two million pieces of mail were carried to places all over the world with prized items marked “Par Ballon Monte” existing to destinations as far as Mauritius, Hong Kong, and Japan. There was no mail by incoming balloon, and any incoming communication could only be received by carrier pigeon. Balloon “Neptune” is considered the first official flight on 23 SP 1870 and the last balloon, the 67th flight, was named “General Cambronne” honouring the general who during the battle of Waterloo screamed the word “Merde” at his British opponents.
The previous five letters (JU 25, JY 9, JY 25, AU 10, AU 25 1870) all reached the Duc of Polignac at his Paris address, obviously due to distance Polignac's estate writer in St. Vincent was unaware that Paris had become inaccessible.
£2400

1954 PRESTWICK DISASTER COVER and GREAT BRITAIN AMBULANCE COVER to JAMAICA
1954 charred edge back and front of cover pmk'd London 23 XII 54 together with contents to R.H. Ridler, Barclays Bank Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I. requiring completion of its journey, due such distressed condition, by Great Britain Post Office O.H.M.S. ambulance cover, both covers struck with purple boxed "SALVAGED MAIL/AIRCRAFT CRASH/PRESTWICK 25-12-54"., flap of latter poorly opened.
BOAC Boeing 377 Stratocruiser crashed on landing at Prestwick Airport in the early hours of Christmas Day 1954, 28 of the 36 onboard were killed.
£325







BRITISH KAFFRARIA WRAPPER from a SURVIVOR OF THE H.M.S. BIRKENHEAD TROOPSHIP DISASTER
In response for requests for testimonies from survivors the only surviving letter from the Cape: 1858 wrapper docketted "Andrews 20 Nov 1858" (the content removed but published) to David Seton, Portabello, near Edinburgh marked "Registered at King W Town 25.11.58" and "K.W.T. C.G. Hope" at lower left with two damaged copies 4d blue tied triangular handstamp with CAPE PACKET DEVONPORT JA 26 1859, red Crown/REGISTERED and red oval REGISTERED/LONDON 27 JA 59 alongside address panel, reverse red CAPETOWN DE 2 1858 transit, black Edinburgh and blue PORTABELLO JA 28 1859 arrivals.
Younger brother (Major) David Seton was quite determined from an early stage to gather as many facts as possible. He met many of the survivors personally and continued with his determination that the heroism displayed by his elder brother Alex should always be associated with the ‘Birkenhead’. Personal interviews, and correspondence with testimonies from survivors, continue as late as 1858-59 and he printed a little book on the Wreck of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale. The Andrews testimony is published on pages 134/5 in "A Deathless Story" by A.C. Addison being a 318 page account of the Birkenhead.
£7250

EXHIBITION COVER SHORT-LIVED 14 CORNER DOTS GREAT BRITAIN QV 1d LILAC to BARBADOS
1881 cover with five copies GB QV 1d Venetian red and seven copies GB QV 1d lilac (SG.166,170) pmk'd London S.W/32 duplex dated AU 2 81 to Mrs. Belfield, Chelston, Barbados being the penultimate 1/- rate prior switching to the 4d U.P.U. rate on SP 1 1881, backstamped BARBADOES AU 18 1881 dbl-arc arrival clear of largely missing flap. A spectacular exhibition cover for the short band of use 14 dots in each corner GB QV 1d lilac.
The 1d Venetian red stamps do not have the Orbs watermark error Cat.£27,000 apiece.
£600

BERMUDA postal history
1902 illustrated Princess Hotel cover to Cambridgeport, Massachusetts with two pairs and single ONE FARTHING on QV 1/- dull grey and QV 1d carmine tied HAMILTON FE 25 1902 d/rings, arrival backstamps.
£120

PONDICHERRY, FRENCH INDIAN SETTLEMENTS to MAURITIUS postal history
1867 REYNAUD SOUPRAYA & Co, PONDICHERY sender cachet entire with strip of four QV 2a orange pmk'd PONDICHERRY "111" duplex dated FE 11 67 to Piper Adam & Co, Mauritius backstamped Madras transit and 2/MR 2 67 arrival, address panel with handstruck "6d TO PAY" in black. Exhibition item.
£1250

GREAT BRITAIN USED TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, Malta postal history
1861 mourning cover to Lt. Colonel Duncan Munro Bethune (1816-1870), 1st Battalion. 9th Regiment, Vernon House, Farnham, Surrey with GB 6d pmk'd "A25" duplex dated A/MALTA/JA 23 61, backstamped Farnham JA 23 61 arrival and forwarded to London with GB QV 1d red pmk'd "292" numeral on JA 25 61 with London transits.
Such GB combination covers are seldom found and extremely rare, and do not exist for most countries and agencies that were supplied with GB stamps.
£1200


INDIA postal history
1855 entire headed "Calcutta 19 May 1855" to Messrs Strahan, Paul & Bates in London with QV 1a tied by diamond of dots with rarely seen sender's red "FORWARDED BY/CHARLES CANTOR & Co/CALCUTTA" cachet alongside, boxed red "INDIA" with matching red G.P.O. 19 MAY 55 d/ring upper flap alongside London JY 2 arrival which can display.
£725


IRELAND ISLAND, Bermuda postal history
1908 use 2d blue/cream PSRE to Watton, Norfolk with added 1d Dock pmk'd Ireland Island A/SE 1 1908 d/ring (H7) with re-introduced IRELAND ISLAND d/ring (H5, used 1896-1900) as registration etiquette appended "171" in pencil.
Contemporary and obsolete IRELAND ISLAND on same entire. This is currently the only known example as illustrated in Proud Bermuda handbook but date incorrectly given as SP 1 1905.
£425

GREAT BRITAIN and ANTIGUA "both ways" postal history
1900 cover with GB QV 1d lilac pmk'd Chipping Norton AP 4 00 to Miss Bowen, The Point, St. Johns, Antigua with MY 4 00 (wider fleuron at base) backstamp, returned with Leeward Islands QV 1d pmk'd Antigua MY 9 00 (smaller fleuron at base), backstamped Bristol and Chipping Norton MY 25 00 cds, flap roughly opened.
£275



BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION, British Honduras postal history
1924 use of KGV 2c brown/buff newswrapper to South Kensington, London pmk'd Belize JY 11 24 cds, reverse 60x74mm locally produced "BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION/VISIT BRITISH HONDURAS COURT" label with lower edge showing printed broken line and separation rougher edge.
£1250
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